Pakistan and Aurat March | By Ali Gilani


Pakistan and Aurat March

MARCH 8 marks the celebration of Women Day when the whole world observes social, cultural, economic and political achievements of females throughout the history of mankind.

The history of this day traces back to 1909 and now this Day is celebrated with full reverence and veneration in almost every corner of the world.

Pakistan however, has some trouble embracing the celebration of this Day and in 2018 the animosity grew even further when a group of women in Karachi decided to shove it in the face of Pakistani men with some controversial and somewhat unethical placards.

The flagrant slogan “mera jism meri marzi” proved to be the last straw on the back of the camel and all hell broke loose.

The opposers insist that ‘Aurat March’ specifically is a vile attempt to impose western debauchery and culture in Pakistan in order to weaken the religious roots this country has built upon.

On the other hand, proponents claim that the March is solely for the rights of women and controversial placards is an absolute necessity to highlight the discrimination and biaseness this patriarchal society has for women.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of it all, it is pertinent to mention that Pakistan is among those countries which have the sizable amount of representation of women in almost all walks of life, especially Parliament.

Pakistan even had a female head of government, twice, the feat even, the USA, the flag-bearer of civil rights, could not achieve.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that all is well when it comes to the right of women. There is still so much need to be done for the overall well-being of women.

However, the looming question is, does Aurat-March in Pakistan legitimately represents of women’s issues?

Even if for a moment we keep the controversial and blatant placards aside, there is something running deep inside the psychology of this Movement.

Their anger and hostility for the male in general is horrific and unjustified.

Demanding a punishment for a male who happens to commit some odious crime against a female is understandable and truly justified, but to berate every single male for the crime they don’t perperate is unjustified at every moral compass.

Moreover, the victims of patriarchal brutality if you will, are found in the areas of South Punjab and rural Sindh but the harbingers of socio-cultural change hardly ever dared to set foot out in these territories.

Sitting in our comfort zones and inventing amoral and unscrupulous slogans will hardly help the cause. It only deepens the pit further and unravels the fabric of the society.

It is the need of the hour that we, as a society, strive for the laws which encourage the overall safety of women and make sure that they are getting equal opportunities.

It is our duty as a nation to form an environment where everybody feels safe and exercise their fundamental rights according to the Constitution.

Dancing in the middle of the highways and streets is not going to help the cause nor handing over the platform to the supporters of LGBTQ and Aitheism.

—The Islamabad-based writer is an Engineer by profession.

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